A joint security task force headed by the District Chief Executive for Adansi Akrofuom, Maurice Jonas Woode, has arrested 24 illegal miners operating at Sukuma Forest Reserve at Pewodie near Grumesa in the Adansi Akrofuom District of the Ashanti Region.
The miners aged between 14 to 45, according to sources, have been operating in the middle of the forest for some time now despite the ban on illegal mining and mining in forest areas.
The task force also destroyed 16 Chanfan machines and over 200 tents while 104 pumping machines and 11 Gold detector machines were also seized.
This is the second time in two weeks that the Akrofuom DCE has led a raid on illegal miners in the area after a similar exercise at Betenase.
“We had a tip-off that there has been fracas among illegal miners operating at Pawodie and Betenase. This prompted the District Security Council to map strategy to arrest them and halt their operations.”
He expressed his resolve to go after illegal miners, destroying water bodies and forest areas in the District.
He added: “We are leaving no stone unturned in clamping down on the activities of these illegal miners. We want these arrests and subsequent burning of mining equipment to serve as a deterrent to others.”
On his part, the Obuasi Divisional Police Commander, Chief Superintendent Joseph Nyaaba, said the security taskforce is committed to nipping the activities of illegal miners in the bud.
He promised that such operations will not be a flash in the pan.
“Eighty-three security personnel were involved in this operation. This is an indication of our preparedness to stop the activities of illegal miners.”
He cautioned illegal miners who have defied the presidential orders banning all illegal mining activities to halt their operations since the police will not relent in their resolve to come after them.
The Assistant District Manager of the Forestry Commission at the Bekwai Division, Palmer Aikins Amponsah, also assured that the Commission will not drop their guard in putting a stop to the operations of illegal miners.